Matthias Alexander Rath as Totilas Rider Reported to be Announced Tuesday
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ANKUM, Germany, Nov. 28–Matthias Alexander Rath is widely reported to be the new rider of Totilas that will be announced on Tuesday by owner Performance Sales International. Dressage-news.com reported shortly after the sale of the KWPN stallion that the 26-year-old German was likely to be Totilas’s rider.
Matthias, who competed Sterntaler-UNICEF at the Stockholm International Horse Show this weekend, told reporters that he had ridden the 10-year-old black horse that holds all three Grand Prix level world record scores and it was “a fantastic experience.”
He praised the training by Edward Gal who rode Totilas for four years for The Netherlands and whose record includes two gold medals at the 2009 European Championships, the 2010 World Cup title and all three gold medals up for grabs at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky two months ago.
Matthias said he did not know if any other rider had tried Totilas since the sale.
As reported by dressage-news.com in October, sources report that his stepmother, Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff invested in the purchase so Germany has a prospective star for the 2012 Olympics in London. Her own competition career was cut short by lyme disease and, associates say, she views Matthias as her successor.
The purchase price was reported to be €10 million (US$13.24 million), with most of the value being placed on breeding by the son of Gribaldi. Paul Schockemöhle, who operates PSI with Ullrich Kasselmann, was a top international jumper rider and is arguably the most successful sport horse breeder in the world.
The so-called “sporting rights”–to compete the horse–were reported to have brought about €4 million (US$5.3 million).
In the single season of breeding, the previous owners of Totilas charged €5,500 (US$7,300) per breeding and limited the number of mares to 175, about half the number of applications.
The highly experienced and successful breeding program operated by PSI–among their stallions is Sandro Hit–is expected to be increased.
Sterntaler-UNICEF was ridden successfully by Matthias at the 2009 Europeans and the 2010 WEG. He is 15 years old and is unlikely to be a prospect for the London Olympics in 2012.